Do “Sola Scriptura” Protestants observe Lent? If so, why? It isn’t biblical


I agree with that. On the whole I think I take pretty good care to avoid falling into the trap of overgeneralizing. However, I’m not into the business of addressing questions to what you call “specific traditions.” Here at CAF and on other websites, it’s not my purpose to engage in conversations with “traditions.” I’m engaging in conversations with people, with individuals, each of whom has his own take on any given subject. I don’t really care very much about labels such as Reformed, Baptist, or whatever. It’s people’s beliefs that I find interesting. It’s what’s in the jar, not what it says on the label.


I thought that it was a mortal sin for a Catholic to eat meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but wouldn’t that mean that observing Lent is a requirement for salvation for Catholics?

I agree that fasting is a good practice. Fasting during Biblical times meant abstaining from all food for a period of time. I think that this practice is something that all Christians should observe as possible. Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do…” Jesus doesn’t say: If you fast…

“Fasting” from Facebook, chocolate, Netflix, Starbucks, etc. can be beneficial, but not a substitute for a true fast. This isn’t in response to you, but just a frustration that I think too few Christians today practice fasting.


If done properly, what’s in the jar should match what’s on the label.


Maybe they think, "hey, I’ll try this Lent thing and see how it goes. "

People are complicated


But if it doesn’t match, I probably wouldn’t even notice. I have only a very hazy notion of what the differences are between the various shades of Calvinism, for example, and if a commenter says something about the Lord’s Supper that reflects a different “specific tradition” compared with what he says about “sola fide” or about the “tension” between Paul and James, well, that’s his business, not mine.


Big thumbs up for this post.
There have been a few posters here over the years that couldn’t/wouldn’t say that.


Being in submission to the Church is what’s required. It’s the same reason a Southern Baptist who doesn’t believe baptism is technically necessary for salvation still get’s baptized.

USCCB - Questions and Answers About Lent

“Those that are excused from fast and abstinence outside the age limits include the physically or mentally ill including individuals suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Also excluded are pregnant or nursing women. In all cases, common sense should prevail, and ill persons should not further jeopardize their health by fasting.”

Sure. They lived in a different time. Using their standards and applying them to our time or using our standards and applying them to theirs is usually anachronism. :no_good_man:

And any member of organized religion would probably tell you that neither you nor they make this call. Sure, it may feel intuitive to you. And that’s reasonable.

But you weren’t handed the keys.

Neither was I, if it’s any consolation.


The vast majority of Sola Scriptura Protestants also accept Sacred Tradition (or parts of it). Anglicans and some Lutherans retain such Tradition as baptizing infants. Anglicans, who refer to themselves as Catholic still have retained the bulk of the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar.


susanlo said
“I thought that it was a mortal sin for a Catholic to eat meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but wouldn’t that mean that observing Lent is a requirement for salvation for Catholics?”

There are exceptions to abstaining from or fasting from meat during Lent. My late aunt was a diabetic. She always received a dispensation from her Bishop because of her extremely fragile health. Anyone with a medical condition is encouraged to obey their dr’s orders. The Catholic Church will never endanger someone’s health.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.

Here is an article that explains things.

Here is another article which goes more in depth.


I was the lector for Sexagesima. We’re old school.




Perfect. Old crab. It’s me.


Nothing personal intended. :smile:

I was just thought the pic added some levity to the resounding “indeed” of Sexagesima being “old school”.


I agree.

And my family says it looks a lot like me, in some situations.


I never grew up observing Lent.

Now, I do it for my wife and kids, and I know my wife likes for me to come to Ash Wednesday with them. It’s basically the only Mass that we can come forward as a family.


1928 old…,


Quite so. Though I’ve been in Masses from other Books, none later.


From New Advent; it was mentioned in the 4th council of Orleans in 541. Do you suppose it goes back to Nicaea? Further?


Wouldn’t be at all surprised. But though I am World’s Greatest Authority on a number of things, that isn’t one of them.


A couple of snippets from Constantine: Dynasty, Religion and Power in the Later Roman Empire, by Timothy Barnes.

Constantine’s participation in the Council of Nicaea was probably also instrumental in the introduction into the East of the custom of Lent, that is, a pre-Easter fast of forty days (Barnes 1990: 261–262). A pre-Easter fast was certainly already being observed before the end of the second century in the West, since Irenaeus recorded disagreement over whether the fast should last one day, two days or longer …

In sum, the observance of Lent was in origin a western custom that was completely unknown in the East in 325. Shortly after the Council of Nicaea, however, Eusebius alludes to a ‘spiritual training of forty days’ before Easter (On Easter 4) and the observance of a forty-day fast before Easter was introduced into Egypt for either the Easter of 334 or the Easter of 338. The simplest explanation for this sudden and rapid change in eastern liturgical practice is that Constantine told the bishops at Nicaea in 325 that he intended to observe the western custom of Lent wherever he happened to be in the East before every Easter from 326 onwards. The eastern churches soon followed the emperor’s lead and reorganized their liturgical year.

No mention here of quinquagesima, sexagesima, or septuagesima – nothing starting earlier than the forty-day Lenten fast, which was itself a novelty at the time.

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